After four games on Friday night, the preseason in the Canadian Football League has come to an end, and with the week wrapped up, we can take a look around the league and see what players made the biggest impact. This will likely be the final time we see a compilation of names we aren’t used to seeing star across the league, and some of these players could even be hunting for jobs in the next couple of days, but for now, they can say they were among the best performers in the league in the second week of the preseason.
Each week, 13th Man Sports will nominate 12 players to be named to the CFL Team of the Week. It will feature five players on offence; one quarterback, one running back, two receivers, and one offensive line, decided by a whole team, not individual players. Five more players come on defence, with two defensive linemen, one linebacker, and two defensive backs. The final two spots belong to special teams players, with one kicker and one kick/punt returner being featured each week.
Jamie Newman (Hamilton Tiger-Cats)
Jamie Newman is one of the names in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback room on the chopping block, not because he’s not talented enough to play professional ball, but because there are some good players ahead of him with Dane Evans and Matthew Shiltz. On Friday night, however, he came up with a performance that could earn him a practice roster role if nothing else, completing all eight of his passes for 88 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. Newman also ran the ball three times, picking up 16 yards. Although the Argos came back to win the game, Newman’s performance wasn’t the reason.
Dedrick Mills (Calgary Stampeders)
The Calgary Stampeders aren’t looking for a new starting running back, Kadeem Carey already has that covered, but Dedrick Mills certainly left a lasting impression on the Stampeders’ coaching staff on Friday night. Mills touted the rock eight times, and with a purpose, running for 108 yards, including a 67-yard scamper, adding two scores on the night. Out of the backfield, Mills added two receptions for 15 yards. If depth is what the Stampeders need, it looks like they may have just found it.
Dominique Rhymes (BC Lions)
To say that this is an important season for Dominique Rhymes would be an understatement. Rhymes signed with the BC Lions ahead of the 2021 season, coming off an impressive season in 2019 with the Ottawa Redblacks where he hauled in 65 passes for 1,056 yards. His 2021 season was a bit of a disappointment, as he missed six games and finished the season with 411 yards. In week two of the preseason, Rhymes caught four passes for 70 yards and looked pretty comfortable. Behind Bryan Burnham and Lucky Whitehead, the Lions could have a bit of a secret weapon in Rhymes if he can return to his 2019 form.
Mister ‘Whop’ Philyor (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
Here’s one of the difficult ones that we knew would happen eventually. Mister ‘Whop’ Philyor played a heck of a game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Tuesday night, hauling in one deep pass from Dakota Prukop for a 78-yard touchdown. That touchdown helped the Bombers secure the win in Regina, but it didn’t help Philyor secure a spot on the roster. On Thursday, he was released by the Bombers, an unfortunate reality of preseason football.
Offensive Line (By Team)
Saskatchewan Roughriders (Vs. BC Lions)
Through five games in the second week of the preseason, there was only one offensive line to not allow a single sack over the course of the game. That was the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their second game of the week, as they sent the majority of their starters to Vancouver to take on the BC Lions. They held the Lions’ pass rush in check, although they did manage to bat down a pair of passes from Mason Fine, so it wasn’t a perfect night for the big guys up front. Still, it was nothing to shake a stick at.
Brock Gowanlock (Montreal Alouettes)
How about this to think about; Brock Gowanlock was an eighth-round pick in the 2020 CFL Draft. You would never have guessed that from his performance at home on Friday night, but with a chance to potentially secure a job on the roster, he showed up, and showed out. Gowanlock finished the game with three quarterback sacks, and a fumble recovery. It’s safe to say he left a lasting impression on the Alouettes coaching staff, and Redblacks’ quarterbacks.
Nicholas Dheill (Saskatchewan Roughriders, Vs. BC Lions)
The Roughriders’ offensive line showed their dominance over the Lions, and their defensive line didn’t do too shabby over the Vancouver side, either. Nicholas Dheill was front and centre with Darnell Sankey causing issues for the Lions, and Dheill finished the game with one sack and four tackles.
Malik Clements (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
Another week, another monster performance from Malik Clements. He is the only repeat player on this list from last week, and once again, it’s well deserved. Clements was the Blue Bombers leading tackler in the second week of the preseason, and the leading tackler across the league with eight. Although he didn’t have the turnovers like others that could have slotted in here, his impact has been unmistakable for the Bombers in the preseason.
Alonzo Addae (Ottawa Redblacks)
A late addition for the Redblacks, Alonzo Addae spent some of training camp at the Arizona Cardinals rookie camp. Despite being late, Addae has been able to make his first impression stick, showing how much potential he has with a great performance in Montreal. Addae not only had an interception against Vernon Adams Jr., he also made a big hit in the open field to break up a pass later in the game.
Hakeem Bailey (Ottawa Redblacks)
The second member of the Redblacks’ secondary to make it here, Hakeen Bailey picked up a pair of interceptions, one against Adams, and one against Trevor Harris. With four interceptions total on the night, the Redblacks’ defensive backs turned in an outstanding performance, making the life of Paul LaPolice and Shawn Burke exceptionally difficult with cut-down day looming.
Jose Maltos (Ottawa Redblacks)
If the Redblacks’ offence had been able to finish drives, there likely would have been a different kicker to fill this spot, but Jose Maltos was called on five times for field goals, hitting all five. His longest kick of the night came from 38 yards out, and he made kicks from a combined 137 yards. Maltos handles punting duties twice, finishing the game with an average of 45.5 yards per punt.
Chandler Worthy (Montreal Alouettes)
There weren’t any massively exciting kick returns anywhere in the CFL, this week, but Chandler Worthy made the most of his time on his new team, just days after being released by the Toronto Argonauts. Worthy returned two kickoffs for 84 yards, with his longest of the night coming on an electric 47-yard return. His only punt return of the night didn’t go anywhere, but that shouldn’t take away from his kick returns.
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